The love for William Shakespeare and Dostoevsky (from whose subjects he films the Idiot and Bassifondi) make him a cultured director, a lover of theatrical dramaturgy in cinema and the reinterpretation of the classics (in these like Carmelo Bene in Italy), descendant of a family of samurai he devoted himself to cinema and films to samurai themes, such as: Ran (late film inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear), Rashmon (winner of the Golden Lion) and The Seven Samurai, all set in the feudal period of the Japanese Empire.
His way of filming is very traditional, but by loving the samurai, his films are inherently epic (so much so that he inspired George Lucas for the Star Wars saga with The hidden fortress) but without ever going into gratuitous violence.
There is an elegiac and meditative side of his cinema that arrives after 1970, the year of the slashing in Hollywood, prompted him to shoot Dersu Uzala and the Shadow of the Warrior, films set in Russia and with an elegiac tone. Following Dreams and Rhapsody in August, films that are always epic, traditional, well squared, but that tell the dream and the fantastic.
The philosopher Gille Deleuze has included him in his favorite directors, capable of making immediate the illusory space and time that the film creates in his book Image-time.
Here are his most elegiac films:
Dersu Uzala, the little man of the great plains (a film that I also have and you can see very well) in blu ray:
The shadow of the warrior in blu ray:
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